Quotation by A.J.P. Taylor

In the Second World War approximately the same European allies fought approximately the same adversaries as in the first. Though the tide of the battle swung more violently to and fro, the battle ended in much the same way—with the defeat of Germany. The link between the two wars went deeper. Germany fought specifically in the second war to reverse the verdict of the first and to destroy the settlement which followed it. Her opponents fought, though less consciously, to defend that settlement; and this they achieved—to their own surprise. There was much utopian projecting while the second war was on; but at the end virtually every frontier of Europe and the Near East was restored unchanged, with the exception—admittedly a large exception—of Poland and the Baltic. Leaving out this area of north-eastern Europe, the only serious change on the map between the English Channel and the Indian Ocean was the transference of Istria from Italy to Yugoslavia. The first war destroyed old Empires and brought new states into existence. The second war created no new states and destroyed only Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.
A.J.P. (Alan John Percivale) Taylor (b. 1906), British historian. The Origins of the Second World War, ch. 2, Atheneum (1961).
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